「へこたれてジャーキング」 (Hekotarete Jakingu)
We see our trio plus one Indian cruising around in a boat this episode. No, they haven’t started rapping parodic songs like a certain island music group. It’s the summer holidays, and with summer holidays come summer activities! Which is more fishing!
There comes a time in any hobby where one has to take the plunge, so as to speak, in both a financial and committal sense. Tired of using rent-a-poles, Yuki seems to have reached this point as he starts contemplating the idea getting his own set of fishing gear. Alas, for our young, financially restrained protagonist, the asking price of 100,000 yen (about 1200 USD) seems two steps out of his meager high school allowance. (Or even that of say, a university student like me.) What to do? Why, do what any upstanding high school student does:
BEG PARENTS FOR MONE Get a part time job! To pay for the cost of the fishing equipment (Which Misaki goes into an impressively detailed, hobbyist-worthy explanation about), the trio signs up with charter boat captain Ayumi (Hosomi Daisuke) who made his appearance last episode to assist in his job of bringing people out to the sea for fishing.
Now, for someone whose first impression was that of irrelevance, Ayumi certainly turned that notion around to become the most fun and bro-est character in this episode. His generosity and open-mindedness were the last two things I had expected to see from him, but as Yuki’s boss, he was willing to overlook his mistakes, guided and encouraged him, and even gave him opportunities to develop himself. If only every boss was as understanding and selfless as him! The world might just become a better place! Or maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
However, it is in part thanks to his push that we once again saw some great character development from Yuki. I seem to say this every week, but Tsuritama has somehow managed to push the growth of this character every episode in a very convincing and genuine manner. Up until now, we’ve seen Yuki slowly warming up to the people around him and stumbling around his personal insecurities about friendship, but this episode sees him taking that a step further to confront complete strangers as well as his social anxiety issues (subsequently overcoming them to a certain degree). Plus, It really is easy to relate to Yuki’s first experience with a part-time job, because all of us have been there; stumbling around like a scared little animal while constantly being intimidated by the customer.
We’re also seeing the first steps Tsuritama is taking in Akira’s development as he starts interacting with the trio in this episode. And oh boy does the guy have a passion for fishing, something that was hinted at in previous episode. The show hasn’t let on much about his character yet, asides from his lone-wolf portrayal and affiliations, so it’ll be interesting to see how the show plans on fitting this last piece into the quartet. Plus, if the preview is anything to go by, it seems that he will be sharing more than a few similarities with Yuki’s personality.
I definitely enjoyed this episode way more than I had expected, perhaps due to my expectations of the series being recalibrated over the last week. While there still isn’t anything revolutionary or attention-grabbing about the show, I found myself cheering for our main characters as they continued to takes these small steps of growth. Yes, the developments are probably not as hard hitting as Tsuritama’s peers in character-orientated shows such as Sakamichi no Apollon or last season’s Ano Natsu. However, the steps they take in self-discovery are moments of warmth and emotional synergy, in part because the emotions and themes being portrayed are expertly fleshed out while feeling relatable. The show does a very good job at connecting me with the emotions of the characters, and it is genuinely heartwarming to watch the scenes where characters achieve a certain modicum of conclusion, such as when Yuki received his paycheck after a job well done, or when he confidently casted away his bait at the close of the episode.
As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, I’m still waiting on the plot to start kicking off. Despite that, I’m also thinking that when it inevitably happens, I’m seriously going to miss this whimsical, laid-back, but extremely compelling pace and direction that Tsuritama has set for itself over the last five episodes.